Critics panned the so-called "flimsy" plotline of last night's "Glee," but the Nov. 9 episode is already speaking for itself. With four songs in the iTunes top ten this morning -- including No. 1 with an all-male a cappella version of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" -- the show is officially untouchable.
The episode's title was "Never Been Kissed," but keeping in recent trend with Hollywood, the theme of anti-bullying (especially as it relates to homosexuality) was the true focus. For a show that premiered with the premise of speaking for those who feel like high school outsiders through contemporary hits and Broadway classics, speaking out against bullying seemed sincere and appropriate. Last night's "Glee" was a social commentary on relevant issues, highlighted by impressive musical numbers rather than a plot theme forced by the songs they were granted licenses for.
As Kurt started to feel his alienation in a physical way, he tried out a new -- and all-male -- private school that seemed to alter his perception of his age group in a positive way. It also helped that there were cute (and gay) boys, as well as a bangin' a cappella group that just so happened to belt out Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" on Kurt's first day. It was love at first listen (and look, if you know what I mean), with the song standing as the most impressive song of the show.
Video: Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" on "Glee"
Back at McKinley High, Mr. Schuester positioned the girls against the boys for the second time, but later wised-up to his narrow perception of gender and made the girls sing tracks originally performed by males, and vice versa. The girls set the bar high, with a mash-up of Bon Jovi's "Livin' On a Prayer" and the Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up." A lack of skin-tight leather get-ups on the girls could have helped the gender openness, but I'll take it anyway.
Video: "Glee" Girls Do "Livin' On a Prayer"/"Start Me Up"
Glee club members got themselves into quite the sticky situation, ultimately offending Coach Beiste enough to make her quit. Let's just say they took things to an unnecessarily graphic level, and the imagery of Beiste in lingerie was probably a bad idea. Ultimately, the boys won her back, both with their Schue-inspired sweetness and their mash-up of the Supremes' "Stop! In The Name of Love" and En Vogue's "Free Your Mind."
Video: "Glee" Boys Do "Stop! In the Name of Love"/"Free Your Mind"
Oh yeah, and Schue gave Beiste a pity kiss, while Puck gave Artie a community service-sanctioned friendship. Only one of those scenarios has a promising future. You can guess which one.
Gwyneth Paltrow makes her long-awaited debut on next week's episode as "the substitute" to help spice up the glee club with Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Cee Lo's "F**k You." But more importantly, we are expecting some big things on the romantic horizon for Kurt.